Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-445
A request for advisory opinion, submitted by Haughton Fire Department Fire Chief Jimmy Holland, concerning whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") would prohibit Fred McAnn, a Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief in a combination fire department and a volunteer reserve commissioned police officer, from continuing his volunteer service if he is elected to the Town of Haughton (Pop.3,454) Board of Alderman.
Chief Holland stated that the Haughton Fire Department ("HFD") is a combination of both volunteer and paid firemen. Fred McAnn, the Volunteer Assistant Chief, is contemplating a run for a position on Haughton's Board of Alderman. Additionally, Chief Holland stated that Asst. Chief McAnn is a volunteer reserve commissioned police officer for Haughton Police Department ("HPD").
Chief Holland explained that the Mayor of Haughton prepares budgets based on requests submitted by him (as the Chief of the HFD) and the Police Chief. Once the budgets are prepared, the Mayor submits them to the Board of Alderman for approval. Once the budget is approved and adopted, the chief of each department controls their budgets. Asst. Chief McAnn does not possess any purchasing authority for the HFD or the HPD.
La. R.S. 42:1112(A) states that no public servant, except as provided in R.S. 42:1120, shall participate in a transaction in which he has a personal substantial economic interest of which he may be reasonably expected to know involving the governmental entity.
La. R.S. 42:1120 provides that if an elected official, in the discharge of a duty or responsibility of his office or position, would be required to vote on a matter which would be a violation of R.S. 42:1112, he shall recuse himself from voting. An elected official who recuses himself from voting pursuant to this Section shall not be prohibited from participating in discussion and debate concerning the matter, provided that he makes the disclosure of his conflict or potential conflict a part of the record of his agency prior to his participation in the discussion and debate and prior to the vote that is the subject of discussion or debate.
La. R.S. 42:1123(1) provides an exception for participation in the affairs of charitable, religious, nonprofit education, public service, or civic organizations when no compensation is received. La. R.S. 42:1123(1) also excludes from the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics participation in the affairs of bona fide organized public volunteer fire departments when no compensation is received.
La. R.S. 42:1123(30) provides that a public servant, a legal entity in which he has a controlling interest, or a member of his immediate family may donate services, movable property, or funds to his agency.
Adopt the proposed opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2020-06-19 Advisory Opinion.v3.draft (Docket No. 2020-445)
2020-445 - Advisory Opinion Request Jimmy Holland